Away ‘Wheego!’ to feature all battery-powered vehicles
by Scott Wiltsee
June 03, 2013 12:00 AM | 1821 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print

MARIETTA — A unique car company has found a place to showcase its latest eco-friendly creations in Cobb County, as Georgia Wheego has opened in Marietta.

The dealership, at 1794 Roswell Road, is the first in the state to carry the Atlanta-based company’s two-model line of fully electric vehicles.

“It’s completely electric, not a hybrid,” said Keith Cristal, owner of Georgia Wheego. “There are zero emissions.”

The company has designed a commuter car to run on a 115-volt lithium battery with a top speed of around 65 miles per hour. The Wheego LiFe can travel at least 100 miles on a single charge, and it will take five hours to charge if it is completely empty.

The tiny subcompact car - measuring just under 10 feet long and about 5 feet high - is equipped with most of the safety features and add-ons of a standard gas-powered vehicle, Cristal said.

Cristal said the Wheego is unique for its fueling method, compared to other electric or hybrid vehicles now on the market.

“Every single one requires a charging station,” Cristal said of his competitors. “The Wheego is unique because it plugs into a regular 110-volt outlet.”

Compared to more than $100 a week on fuel and maintenance from the standard gasoline-powered vehicle, the LiFe costs about $15 per week to charge, Cristal said.

Susan Nicholson, spokeswoman for Wheego Electric Cars, said the LiFe is meant to be for day-to-day driving but not as the primary family car.

“It’s great for someone to use as a commuter car,” Nicholson said. “It’s not going to be the only car a family has.”

Cristal said the LiFe is designed as a luxury vehicle, with a starting price of around $33,000. Given its status as an environmentally friendly car, the LiFe also qualifies for about $12,500 in state and federal tax credits.

Cristal moved his sales showroom from downtown Marietta — where it was previously known as JDS Auto Clearance Outlet — to the location next to the 120 Loop to be closer to the east Cobb market. He said he thought Marietta would be a good location for the Wheego dealership.

“There is a great future market for an electric car,” he said. “It’s a very unique idea.”

The company is also looking to market its low-speed vehicle, the Wheego Whip, in the Cobb County area.

The Whip, which has a top speed of about 35 mph, is designed for police departments, airports, colleges or other short-distance uses.

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